3 Men, 3 Lives, 3 Wishes for a Better Economic Future in Appalachia

Gary Dotson (right) and his employee Bill Spencer talk as local dog Sweetie hangs out. Spencer says if the mine goes out of business, he’s “done for.” Photo cedit CAROL GUZY/ NPR.

Can Trump bring coal jobs back to Appalachia? We’re a year-and-a-half into his presidency, and some people, like coal operator Barry Estep, are hopeful.

“Maybe this is a light at the end of the tunnel we’ve all been hoping for, to get things turned around and changed some.”

But others are not so sure that coal has a long-term future.

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